BRUSSELS – About 50 women lose their lives to domestic violence every week, and 75 percent of women in the workplace have been sexually harassed, according to a European Parliament report on Thursday.

The report called for targeted legislation and policies to address all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination against women and girls. He called for gender-based violence online and offline to be treated as a “particularly serious crime with a cross-border dimension”.

In addition, he called on the European Commission to include gender-based violence as a new area of ​​crime alongside other crimes that must be tackled on a common basis, such as trafficking in human beings, drugs and d weapons, computer crime and terrorism. Parliament adopted the report with 427 votes in favor, 119 against and 140 abstentions.

On Lebanon. The European Parliament on Thursday called on Lebanese political leaders to implement “significant and far-reaching economic and governance reforms”, in particular to restore economic stability and the credibility of the financial sector.

In a resolution adopted by 575 votes in favor, 71 against and 39 abstentions, the EP calls on the European Commission and the EU Member States to engage constructively with the new Lebanese government to implement the reforms necessary to unblock significant macro-financial assistance from the EU.

Lebanese authorities are expected to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as soon as possible to support struggling people in Lebanon through reforms, the resolution said.

The European Parliament also adopted a resolution on Thursday saying that the European Union must reduce its dependence on Russian gas, oil and other raw materials.

The European Green Deal and the reinforcement of new resources will play a crucial geopolitical role in achieving this, says the resolution approved by 494 votes in favor, 103 against and 72 abstentions.

In addition, the resolution calls on the EU to strengthen its capacity to expose and stop the flow of dirty money from Russia, as well as expose the resources and financial assets that autocrats and oligarchs linked to the regime have. hidden in EU member states.

He asks the EU to be ready to refuse recognition of the Russian parliament if the legislative elections in September are held in violation of democratic principles and international law.

The resolution calls on the EU to forge an alliance with the United States and other like-minded partners to counteract Russian and Chinese efforts to weaken democracy around the world.

In a separate resolution adopted today on China, the European Parliament said the EU should continue to discuss global challenges such as climate change and health crises with China, while expressing concerns about systemic human rights violations.

The resolution, adopted by 570 votes in favor, 61 against and 40 abstentions, defines six pillars on which the EU should build a new strategy to engage with China.

These are cooperation on global challenges, engagement on international standards and human rights, identification of risks and vulnerabilities, building partnerships with like-minded partners, promoting strategic autonomy and the defense of European interests and values.

It proposes the continuation of EU-China cooperation on a series of global challenges, such as human rights, climate change, nuclear disarmament, the fight against global health crises and the reform of multilateral organizations.

The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted the reform of the European Blue Card system to facilitate the employment of highly skilled non-EU nationals and help alleviate labor shortages in key sectors in Europe.

The Blue Card regulation, in place since the end of 2009, defines the entry and residence conditions that third-country nationals and their family members must meet in order to take up highly qualified employment in the EU Member States.

However, the program did not attract enough of these much-needed workers, with just 36,806 blue cards issued in the EU in 2019, with Germany issuing most of them. The reform of the blue card was supported by Parliament with 556 votes to 105 and 31 abstentions.

Under the revised rules, applicants will be required to submit an employment contract or a binding job offer for a minimum of six months as well as proof of higher professional qualifications or skills. Currently, a 12 month contract or offer is required.

Refugees will also be able to apply for a European Blue Card in Member States other than the one in which they have been granted asylum. EU Blue Card holders will be able to move to another EU member state after an initial period of 12 months in the country that first granted them the Blue Card.

They will also benefit from rapid reunification with their family members through faster reunification procedures and access to the labor market for accompanying family members. – Agencies


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